What is the role of oral lesions in the pathophysiology of HIV infection?

Updated: Jan 02, 2020
  • Author: Robert J Carpenter, DO, FACP; Chief Editor: John Bartlett, MD  more...
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Thrush can result from Candida infection; oral hairy leukoplakia is presumably due to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. Thrush is usually a sign of fairly advanced immunologic decline, generally occurring in individuals with CD4 cell counts of 200-500/µL.

HSV lesions can also reflect deteriorating immune function in patients infected with HIV. Aphthous ulcers of the posterior oropharynx affect 10-20% of patients infected with HIV. Their etiology is unknown. These ulcers can be very painful and can cause dysphagia if left untreated.

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